Testimonies at the Board of Ed – via video!

Hereford High School parents got together and formed Hereford Works.   Our primary goal is to keep the 4 x 4 block semester schedule, as an option, for all schools in the county.  Hereford Works has grown quickly and has unexpectedly expanded into other parts of the county that are also concerned with many of Dr. Dance’s recent decisions.

We have over 1600 participants and supporters.

As you may be aware, members of Hereford Works have spoken at four of the recent BCPS Board of Education meetings.  Members created a website www.herefordworks.org, created a Facebook page (with over 1100 likes), and held a letter writing campaign.  Hereford Works members met with two assistant superintendents and school administrators.  The basic question is “Why must things change when the current schedule is highly successful and meets all of the criteria?”  Dr. Dance, even your consultants, S3 is dumbfounded by your decision.  When we refute the blanket responses from BCPS, the final answer has been “Now is the time.”  This is unacceptable.  Through all this there has been no dialogue or feedback from Dr. Dance.  That is hardly a “BCPS collaborative effort”.   We are not asking for special treatment, we feel any school that wants to, should have input into changes in their schedule.  Our kids cannot achieve the level of success as in the past with the schedule option Dr. Dance proposes.  Is Dr. Dance concerned about our kids and all students through out the entire county?  Is he making wise decisions without buy in from the communities he is affecting.  Is Dr. Dance spending the taxpayer money wisely?

Fifty Hereford High School parents, students and teachers attended the Board of Education Meeting December 17, 2013.  Wade Kach asked Dallas Dance and the Board of Education to put the schedule change on hold for one year until the common core and teacher evaluation were mastered.

Barbara Willette, teacher at Hereford High School, gives examples of why a change to a yearlong A/B schedule would result in less continuity for students.  Most disturbing among the unintended consequences of a schedule change would be the dilution of the attention that a teacher gives to each student.  Stakeholders were not part of the decision to alter the schedules of high schools, contradictory to the claim of communication and openness by BCPS.

 “How do you prepare for success at the college level?
The answer is simple. You mimic it.”

“The paradigm for success is not set arbitrarily by us.  It’s set by the colleges and the institutions that these children will be attending.”

“The road to standardization, at least arbitrary and excessive standardization, is not necessarily, at least to coin a phrase or to borrow a phrase from the Department of Education, ‘a race to the top’.  It’s the race to the middle by definition, and unfortunately, in our case, the middle is synonymous with mediocrity.  I hope that is not our goal.”

Dr. David Guyton

“Why tamper with what works?  Why not use the system that currently works to model other schools and work to improve the other schools to bring them to the higher level of performance.”  Dr. James Brooks

“Build the plane as we fly it.”  – Dallas Dance

“My child is on a seat on that plane and I find that statement unacceptable.”  Dr.  James Brooks

 Graduate from Hereford High School testifies Dr. Dance’s proposed 8 class A/B block schedule Dr. Dance county wide high school schedule mandate eliminates the opportunity to accelerate in subjects of interest.   This opportunity has been available with the 4 x 4 hybrid semester block system for the past 20 years.

Regina DeSantis receives an email from her son at college concerned for his sister’s opportunities and lack thereof due to Dr. Dance’s county wide schedule mandate.  Big bummer for little sis!

Dr. Dance, how does this benefit the Hereford Community?

Heather son has been diagnosed with ADHD and suffers from severe migraines due to stress.  He is gifted in athletics yet has to work very hard with academics.  The four class semester allows him to concentrate and focus which eliminates undue stress that he experienced in middle school with the seven period day.

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We moved to Northern Baltimore County from New Jersey.  Based on the Maryland Report Card we chose to send our children to the Hereford zone public schools.  Lets not take away the items that make Hereford High School a success in an attempt to level the playing field. 

Take the programs that work and implement them else where!  All children deserve the best, not mediocre, per Dr. Dance’s mandate.  There is no indication that the schedule mandate will benefit anyone.

Sue Battle-McDonald with Dulaney High School has three concerns.

1.  Loss of teaching time in the classroom moving from the 7 period class schedule per day to the 8 class A /B day schedule.
2. Increase in homework!
3. Inadequate process for stakeholders input, teachers, students and parents.
TEAM BCPS – NOT!